Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just breathe....

It's been a bit of a bumpy ride....

I'm mostly writing this entry so I can look back and remind myself that I CAN do it.....that I am stronger than I think I am.

We knew before Christmas that Mike would have to travel the first three weeks of January.  He would be going somewhere that he could drive to and he would be able to come home on the weekends.  It was nice the first week he was gone to have Britt still here finishing up her Winter Break from college. 

Now I know that most of those who know how things work with our kids and the past history with travel etc. it's no surprise that this extended "change in routine" would stir things up a bit (to say the least).  One of the common "issues" with autism can be insomnia.  It used to be when the kids were younger that when Mike traveled Zach wouldn't sleep.....plain and simple.....didn't matter how long he was gone......Nope....   I was a zombie.  I couldn't sleep if Zach didn't for fear that he would get up and wander.  So many nights he'd sing and talk all night long.  Now he would go to school the next day and you'd never guess that he hadn't slept.  Me.....well, I'd go to work and be ready to fall asleep!

Anyway....so for the first of the three weeks Mike traveled this month the kids missed him (so did I!!) but for the most part Zach slept and Linz just kept on her regular schedule.  Then.....when Mike left for the 3rd week, Zach started saying, "Dad's at work"...."Dad's coming home"...."Dad's all done".  Now that might seem like such an "Aw! How sweet" thing to most of you but if you listen to it over and over and over and over and over....... you might start  to see (and hear) that it's Zach's way of trying to make sense of things and mostly of him saying, "Ok, seriously Mom.....enough already!"  He doesn't say much most of the time and we have to try to figure out what it is that he's really trying to get across to us with the words he chooses to use.  For instance he loves McDonald's M&M McFlurries.  If we are out running errands and he says, "you have ice cream at home" he's trying to tell me that he want's me to stop at McD's to get a treat for him and he's pretty sure I'm going to tell him that we have ice cream at home and he can have some when we get there.  Clear as mud??  Well....trust me....it can be confusing (and just a little frustrating).

Another thing that he does is he talks about "Fred" (his bear) to me when he's trying to get thoughts across to me. "Fred's in the car"..... (x 1,423 times)  Most of the time he does it to joke around with me but he says the same things over and over and .....well you get the idea.

The three weeks seemed to drag by.   I missed Mike SOOOO much.  He's more than just my husband.  He's ....my ally....my "normal conversation"....my sounding board....and my best friend.  The last week Zach got more and more agitated and by Friday he was watching the clock.  His teacher even emailed me to tell me that he'd been watching it at school too and she knew he was waiting for his Dad to come home.  Boy was she ever right. 

Friday came and Mike came through the front door and Zach went bounding down the steps to hug him.  He said, "Hi Daddy!!!" with a huge smile on his face.  (Linz loved on him too....  <3  )  I remember thinking, "Whew!  We made it.  Now he'll settle back in and it's all good".  Well apparently we're still readjusting.....I think he's still worried that Mike's going to leave on travel again or things are going to be different this week....I'm not sure.  He's just really having tons of echlalia and I would be lying if I said it doesn't get to me.  (Honesty Alert)  I'm no saint....just human....   It's hard to listen to the same things over and over again and wanting SO badly to be able to have a "real" conversation with my son.  It seems like such a simple thing.  I just want to know what he's thinking....Is happy?  How does he like school?  What did he do at school?  Were there kids who were mean to him?  Does he like the new shoes we bought him?  I just wish I knew.....

So for those of you who say, "Oh, I don't know how you do it!"  I guess you can tell that I don't always "do it" well.  Some days I hang on by a thread.  I KNOW there are so many people out there in the world with problems that are a thousand fold worse than anything I can possibly imagine.  I'm not having a pity party.....just trying to make sense of it all in my own head.

I write this just to remind myself when I look back and read it later that I can do it even when I think I can't.  I'm tired...and that's ok.  I just need to remember to breathe.

Blessings,
Michelle

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